“The attorney general of Texas said late Monday that banning guns in college dorm rooms violates the state’s newly approved ‘campus carry’ law, and also opined on setting limits for carrying weapons onto public school grounds and into multiuse government buildings,” the AP reports. “Republican Ken Paxton‘s flurry of nonbinding opinions addressed many much-watched issues, but could also spark a showdown with the University of Texas.” Ya think? The University of Texas Austin released their recommendations for implementing campus carry less than a week ago. In their final report . . .
they recommended banning legally carried firearms from dorms and sporting events, and making “Israeli carry” mandatory. While the embattled Texas AG (under indictment for securities fraud) didn’t address the inanity of the latter recommendation and made no mention of the sporting events carve-out, the difference on dorm storage sets the AG on a collision course with UT’s administrators. As Paxton pointed out . . .
If a public institution of higher education placed a prohibition on handguns in the institution’s campus residential facilities, it would effectively prohibit license holders in those facilities from carrying concealed handguns on campus, in violation of the express terms of Senate Bill 11.
While the Texas AG’s opinion is, as stated, non-binding, it could influence the outcome of a court case, should a student banned from stashing a gat in his dorm do so in contravention of school policy. This may well play out in court, as Paxton (and many others) predict:
An individual whose legal rights have been infringed due to a president or chief executive officer of a public institution adopting regulations that exceed the authority granted in Senate Bill 11 would likely have standing [to bring a lawsuit against UT].
Paxton also clarified the law regarding carry in “government buildings that have many uses, including housing courtrooms.” In those cases, “authorities shouldn’t ban license holders from openly carrying their weapons in areas other than courtrooms.”
In case you think Paxton is 100% pro-2A or, alternatively, that the Texas AG isn’t bound by lawmakers’ intent, he also wrote that “open carry doesn’t trump existing laws banning guns at school-sponsored events on K-12 public school campuses.” Where it’s needed most. IMHO.
Awesome! Of course students should be allowed to have a gun where they actually live. A few years back, I was a graduate student at a major (SEC) university. At the time, I lived in an apartment owned by the university. We were not allowed to have guns anywhere on campus, and it was in the lease agreement as well.
Here I was a 32 year old married doctoral student and I couldn’t keep my freakin Marlin 60 and Mosin M44 in my apartment (owned nothing else at the time). I kept them at a friend’s house for a couple years. It sucked.
Paxton’s damaged goods, politically and legally. It compromises his credibility, which is vital to the weight with which courts, police and prosecutors receive and apply AG opinions.
Heller clearly stated the right to a firearm in your home, and a dorm room most certainly is a residence.
Funny thing about AG opinions–when the AG is a leftist do-gooder, the media like to proclaim that an AG opinion “has the force of law until it is overturned by the courts”; the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram used to regularly append that little note to articles discussing Jim Mattox’s AG opinions. It is, of course, 180 degrees removed from the truth; an AG opinion is just that, an opinion from a lawyer. County Commissioners and other officials like to use them for guidance or for cover when they do or don’t want to do something, but otherwise they have little or no practical or legal application. I can’t personally recall ever seeing a case where an AG opinion was actually cited as any kind of legal “authority”. Hopefully, the UT admin is as ignorant about AG opinions as they are about firearms, but since there is a law school on campus, I don’t think that will be the case.
I like that he used the word “Infringed”.
Sporting events are not a carve out. They are prohibited by the Texas CHL law period. Same as K-12 schools buildings. So there is no reason for him to comment about it.
Open carry will not apply to campus carry in Texas.
And this, boys and girls, is why when you are crafting a campus carry bill with the intent of allowing students to carry in their dorms, PUT IT IN THE STUPID BILL! Same thing for the stop & check bull that wasn’t specifically forbidden (which was only an issue because the morons running the state houses didn’t schedule the OC bill early in the session where it couldn’t have been maneuvered by dem opposition)
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